Thursday, August 13, 2009


Science Now - Researchers examining ocean sediments have concluded that current climate conditions resemble those that led to peak Atlantic hurricane activity about 1000 years ago. So if you live anywhere from the Caribbean to the coast of Maine, prepare for the possibility of stronger and more frequent storms.

As the researchers report in Nature, they found strong evidence that Atlantic hurricane activity peaked about 1000 years ago, producing up to 15 hurricanes a year on average--a level matched in recent times only over the past decade and a half. At the time, according to estimates constructed from other geologic data, Atlantic water temperatures were relatively warm, "though not as warm as today." . . .

Of particular interest, the sediments reveal a close link between warmer water and the number of hurricanes during the past 150 years or so. Dropping temperatures produced seven or eight hurricanes a year, while a rising thermometer, such as in the earlier part of this decade, pushed the total to